All about the Bariatric Surgery Procedure

All about the Bariatric Surgery Procedure

One of the biggest health concerns in today's world is the problem of obesity and weight gain. Although, exercise and a proper diet are considered to be the best ways to fight obesity and promote weight loss in a healthy way, yet there are certain people for whom surgery is the only way to save them from life-threatening weight-related health problems such as cardiac diseases, hypertension, severe sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes and stroke. Bariatric surgery is a safe and effective procedure which helps the individual to lose excess weight, but it is done only when other standard methods of weight loss such as diet and exercise have failed to show result.

What is a Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric surgery is a collective term for a number of bariatric surgical procedures that promote weight loss by limiting the amount of food that can be held in the stomach or by bypassing a part of the intestine, so that fewer calories are absorbed in the body. Modern weight loss surgeries are done using small cuts, also known as laparoscopic surgery, where five to six small incisions are made in the belly, instead of a big one.

Different Types of Bariatric Surgical Procedures:

The most common types of Bariatric Surgery procedures are as follows:

Gastric Bypass Surgery:

The Roux-en-Y bypass surgery or gastric bypass surgery is the most popular weight loss surgery that is done in two parts. First, the surgeon makes a small pouch in the stomach by dividing the stomach into a largeportionand a smaller one. The smaller part of the stomach is stapled together to create a pouch which can hold approximately only a cup of food. In the second part of the procedure, the surgeon disconnects the new small stomach from the rest of the stomach and the first part of the small intestine (the duodenum) and connects it to another part of the small intestine farther down (the jejunum).

Sleeve Gastrectomy:

In this procedure, almost 80% of the stomach is removed, leaving behind only a thin vertical tube or sleeve. This is a restrictive procedure that promotes favorable changes in the gut hormones that reduce appetite and improve satiety. But it is a non-reversible procedure.

Adjustable Gastric Band Surgery:

In this procedure an inflatable band is secured around the upper portion of the stomach, thus, creating a small stomach pouch above the band. The size of the stomach pouch can be adjusted by filling the band with sterile saline that is injected through a port placed under the skin. Reducing the size of the stomach pouch is done gradually over time with repeated adjustments of the band. This procedure involves no cutting of the stomach or redirecting of the intestines.

Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch:

This procedure is quite similar to the gastric bypass surgery. The only difference being, in this procedure the surgeon reconnects the stomach pouch to the small intestine much father down (the ileum) which helps to bypass more of the small intestine so that your body absorbs even fewercalories. This procedure results in greater weight loss than any other procedure and reduces fat absorption by almost 70%. But it is a complicated procedure and has high risk of mortality.

Who are the Suitable Candidates for Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric surgery is not for everyone who is overweight. There are certain medical guidelines that one needs to qualify for undergoing this weight loss surgery. You need to go through an extensive screening process in order to qualify for the procedure. You can opt for the procedure if:

  • Your body mass index (BMI) is 40 or higher (extreme obesity)
  • Your body mass index (BMI) is between 35 and 40 and you are suffering from any serious weight-related health issue, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes or severe sleep apnea.
  • You are willing to make permanent changes to your lifestyle after undergoing the procedure.
  • You are ready to participate in long-term follow-up plans that may include monitoring your lifestyle, nutrition, behaviour and medical conditions.

How to Prepare for a Bariatric Surgery?

  • You may need to go through several lab tests and exams.
  • You may need to undergo a physical activity program to lose some weight before the surgery.
  • Your doctor may ask you to quit smoking.
  • You will need to change the way you eat. A nutritionist will guide you towards building better food habits.
  • There may be temporary restrictions on the use of certain medications.

What to Expect Post Bariatric Surgery?

  • The patient needs to stay in the hospital for 2 to 3 days after this surgery.
  • One can return to normal activities within 2 to 3 weeks of the surgery.
  • Patients can expect to lose almost 60% of their extra weight on an average after the surgery.
  • Many weight-related health problems may improve or even recover completely after the surgery.
  • But the patient has to opt for lasting lifestyle changes such as eating small and healthy meals and getting regular exercise in order to keep the weight off.

Risks Related to Bariatric Surgery

You must keep in mind that bariatric surgery is a major surgery, and like any major surgery it has its own risks. Some of the most common complications related to bariatric surgery are as follows:

  • Infections
  • Ulcers
  • Minor bleeding
  • Hernia

Some Rare Life-Threatening Complications Include:

  • Serious infections
  • Major bleeding
  • Blood clots

The risks and complicationsrelated to bariatric surgery are lower when the procedure is done by a highly experienced bariatric surgeon. A bariatric surgeon and his health care team will provide you with the necessary instructions on how to prepare for a specific type of surgery. Are you looking for an experienced bariatric surgeon in Ahmedabad? Then you can get in touch with Dr.Apurva Vyas who specializes in bariatric surgery and laparoscopic surgery.

A bariatric surgery is a big decision and it is best to consult and weigh the pros and cons of this procedure with an expert bariatric surgeon before you say yes to it.

Reviewed By:

Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)

Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad